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Every day people report to the FTC the scams they spot. Every year, the FTC shares the information we collect in a data book which tells a story about the top scams people tell us about – so we can all spot and avoid them.

The Data Book tells us that people lost $10 billion to scams in 2023. That’s $1 billion more than 2022 and the highest ever in reported losses to the FTC – even though the number of reports (2.6 million) was about the same as last year. One in four people reported losing money to scams, with a median loss of $500 per person. And email was the #1 contact method for scammers this year, especially when scammers pretended to be a business or government agency to steal money.

Here are other takeaways for 2023:

  • Imposter scams. Imposter scams remained the top fraud category, with reported losses of $2.7 billion. These scams include people pretending to be your bank’s fraud department, the government, a relative in distress, a well-known business, or a technical support expert.
  • Investment scams. While investment-related scams were the fourth most-reported fraud category, losses in this category grew. People reported median losses of $7.7K – up from $5K in 2022.
  • Social media scams. Scams starting on social media accounted for the highest total losses at $1.4 billion – an increase of 250 million from 2022. But scams that started by a phone call caused the highest per-person loss ($1,480 average loss).
  • Payment methods. How did scammers prefer that people pay? With bank transfers and payments, which accounted for the highest losses ($1.86 billion). Cryptocurrency is a close second ($1.41 billion reported in losses).
  • Losses by age. Of people who reported their age, younger adults (20-29) reported losing money more often than older adults (70+). However, when older adults lost money, they lost the most.

Check out the graphic for the top scams of 2023. Read the 2023 Data Book for more details and to learn what happened in your state.

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A scammy snapshot of 2023

Want to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your communities from scams? Go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov to report fraud. Reports like yours help law enforcement take action with education and enforcement. By reporting what you see and experience, you can help protect your community.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Charmaine Gage
February 09, 2024

Thank you for sharing information that I was not aware of. When people take pleasure in being deceitful! You can no longer trust in laws (especially) or your own family. The more J know the more I am aware of protecting myself and helping others as well!!

Hi Nguyen
February 09, 2024

I think Congress should pass a bill to penalize the scammers.

Peter
February 12, 2024

In reply to by Hi Nguyen

Thoroughly agree with Nguyen- scammers should be punished/penalized for their crimes. If Congress is required to do so, then Congress should pass the necessary laws to make this happen.
Peter

blcs716
February 21, 2024

In reply to by Wren

If they would hold some of the social media platfroms accountable for thier lack of care about any of these issues it would help a lot. Hackers are allowed to use accounts to scam people freely.

Mabel Llosa
February 12, 2024

In reply to by Hi Nguyen

Yes definitely they should put them in jail longer than other crimes because it affects you mentally and socially more than a in person crime . This is because you do not know in reality who did the scam. The scammers are working with the person in the scam to rob you. Is gang stalking.

Pokey
February 15, 2024

In reply to by Hi Nguyen

what a great idea. Robocalling already is illegal but doesnt seem to stop them. MOST coming from Jamacia. Only reason I know that is b.c I did the no no of calling back and it was on my phone bill

Gerald Richardson
February 09, 2024

Thank you for the information!

MN
February 09, 2024

I’m surprised that text messages wasn’t listed as a means of fraud or attempted fraud. I get phishing texts the most, followed by phone calls. Lately, I’ve received a few emails with a PDF attachment that is an alleged invoice. I don’t open it. It’s very interesting to watch the scammers attempts to get information or money from me. I’m already a victim of identity theft due to some major data breaches in 2021 to current, so I’m especially careful.

Bette Burton James
February 13, 2024

In reply to by MN

Absolutely agree with MN. The phone calls start at 8:30 AM with so-called Medicare plans, or now it's Credit help! 99% of the time I don't answer. It doesn't stop there text comes in with "Hello how are you?" From some unknown number. I print them out in the event that someday I can help catch these creeps.

Rita
February 20, 2024

In reply to by Bette Burton James

Bette if you receive the calls on your mobile phone you can block them. If you have an iphone, after the call ends, go to RECENTS, click on the i (information) button, scroll down to the end of the info and click on Block this Caller Forewarning though, they just have another number they can use :-\ Any number you don't recognize, don't answer . . . if it's legit, there should be a message, no message it's not legit. Unfortunately this doesn't stop the robocalls - I've blocked over 1,000 on my iphone in the last year. Good luck!

Enid Hurwitz
February 09, 2024

I've been gettng over 50 "lewd and suggestive" emails every day. I have blocked these and as of this morning there were over 199. Can this list be sent directly? They are insulting, and I would rather forward this to you, if possible.

Enid Hurwitz

drew
February 12, 2024

In reply to by Enid Hurwitz

call the opt out # for robocalls.... google it, it's everywhere... there must be an opt out for spam emails also. ask FTC and FCC and any other agency to report. This may stop it completely...if you're serious. sounds awful. good luck!

Al Hartman
February 09, 2024

Thank you. Very important info!

Deborah K Grimm
February 09, 2024

So, My comment is simple---why isn't there more done to stop this? You have the most sophisticated people people working within the US---there should be a cure for this--shame on America for not having the answer!!!

xxx
February 12, 2024

In reply to by Deborah K Grimm

if this govt wold only pay folks like Snowden more than they've already made, have him and those like him work for the gov, we'd be In much better shape.

Lorraine
February 09, 2024

I have brighten a few items on line and got scared. It is hard to tell the difference between a legit company and a phoney one.

Patricia Sargent
February 09, 2024

My 90 year old trusting and naive Mom has been sending 50 + small checks a month to various 'non-profits' associated with USA Cash Draw and other socalled million dollar sweepstakes. The operation is associated with many unfamiliar 'non-profits', giving her the idea that she is helping folks while assuring she will win at least one of the 20,000 prizes. She does not read the fine print, which has a deadline for a specific draw. However, she is already in the habit of sending 'gifts'. Examples are Citizens behind the badge, advancing American freedom, Fund for integrative Cancer treatment and some familiar ones like Am Against Drug abuse.

A second issue is all the political solicitations (she gets six to 12 inch stacks of mail per day. Some scare tactics of Lawyers requesting money - "they have put her on an important congressional committee" that leads her to believe without her money the political job wont get done. I think This is abusive of her and misuse/disrespectful of free speech. Nevertheless, being a generious person and wanting to help, all the solicitation become a burden and upsetting to this senior. Help!

Thank you
Patricia Sargent

Bess H Parks
February 09, 2024

thanks for the great work you do....I am seeing lots of iCloud scammers trying to get me to reply to emails saying I have won a prize from big name companies like CVS, Lowes, etc .,,, I delete but would like to start reporting these....I am trying but can't figure out an easy way to report these scammers.

D Jason
February 12, 2024

In reply to by Bess H Parks

Most big companies have email addresses you can forward scam emails to. You can open the companies' legit webpage & search for scam addresses or customer service. Always good to report to FTC as well.

David L Boyden
February 12, 2024

I would add aggressive sales practices from car dealers to the list, the CARS act does not go far enough to protect consumers.

Cindy Williams
February 12, 2024

Publishers clearing house scammers keep calling my home. I cuss them out,hang up on them,etc. and it doesn't stop them from calling.

Garush
February 12, 2024

Thought ID theft has highest losses. ?

Catherine Mullisi
February 12, 2024

Why don't we have a govenment service to locate, arrest and shut them down.

Ana M. Marshall
February 12, 2024

Thank you for this information. We seniors are particularly vulnerable to scammers, and this helps us a lot.

Gary
February 12, 2024

I just contacted the FTC because I got a scam e-mail telling me my Social Security Number was used for Drug Trafficking in Texas and New Mexico! I don't even live anywhere these states! FYI... NEVER click on or open these scam e-mails!

Nancy Sheran
February 12, 2024

I hope law enforcement is treating this like the huge crime wave it is. It is more than an inconvenience or annoyance. I hear stories of people loosing their life savings.

Jacque del Valle
February 12, 2024

I report most of the email scams, but it takes time. It would be much easier if your program would allow us to forward these without going through the reporting portal. It is a constant battle. I have a call screen on my phone so never answer something I don't recognize, but I have seen texts that I have to block as I know they are scams. There really needs to be a crack down task force working on this. Lots of them are from out of the country.

Bryan P
February 12, 2024

Emails for payments to Geek Squad, Renewal charges for anti-virus programs like McAfee & Norton, I've dumped & blocked hundreds of them.

Joanne
February 12, 2024

It is basically impossible to block the spam emails. Yes, they can be reported to the FTC but only individually, and the form is time consuming. EVERY spam email will have a different phony “From” email, even if there are multiple ones that appear to be from the same sender with same subject matter. There is absolutely no way to stop them. All advice says to just delete them - don’t open or reply. I was getting over 1000 spam emails daily, but interestingly that dropped to about 100-150 daily when I got a new phone. I check and group delete several times a day. Text messages (phone numbers) can at least be blocked. I also refuse cookies or modify them to “strictly necessary”; turning off all marketing and promotional settings. I agree that more aggressive measures are needed.

Luis Deleza
February 12, 2024

I have been getting emails from different vendors like Norton security thanking me for the purchase of their service on the day and time of the transaction mostly everyday with different names on them with a phone number for me to call them if I have any questions of the transaction. I just delete them and I have not reported them yet but I will now. Another thing that I have experienced is mostly all the people who walk in front of my door to try to sell some product or service without any proof of the company they represent are fraud and try to get my name and phone number for them to call me later but I do not give it to them. I do not trust no one at all. I get phone calls wanting to know if I have any Master Card and ask me to give them my name and date of birth to make sure it is me and I just hang up on them. I hope this helps somebody and make sure to put a Fraud Alert on your credit report with any of the 3 Credit Bureaus Like Experian.

JT
February 12, 2024

Consumer education has no chance against fear and greed so ignorance and naivete will continue. Perhaps if the telco's had strong protection against SIM swaps and banks provided more than the weakest forms of 2FA we might have a fighting chance before the data brokers sell our PII to anyone with a credit card.

Bette Burton James
February 13, 2024

Please include Scam GAMES claiming PayPal or Cash App payouts.
I've followed the game rules and watched HUNDREDS of ads, and as soon as I reached enough to get paid, the site stalls never to reopen, or they want you to do tasks, like spin the wheel 100 times and the error page pops up saying come back tomorrow day after day... granted all that is lost is time, but time is money!

Stephen
February 15, 2024

Someone called me today at 5:28 PM, on February 14th, from: caller ID; YELLOWST, 1-307-227-9080, and ask if this was Stephen? They said "Stephen, is this Stephen", I replied "yes this is Stephen". They said then "have a good rest of your day" and abruptly hung up. I searched the number on the internet to try to find out who it was, could not find anything out without paying a fee. So I called them back within about three minutes, it rang a few times then went to a busy signal, I tried twice later that same evening, and got the same answer.
I am wondering what kind of scam this is.

Baba Ganoush
February 21, 2024

How can I know this site isn't a scam?